At at exhibition, visitors are constantly bombarded with colours, lights, sales talks and giveaways. It is up to you and your team to make sure your exhibition stand doesn’t get lost in the crowd.

Today, our time at exhibitions and trade shows is being used more carefully than ever before. When exhibiting, you are not only competing with your key industry competitors, but also with every exhibitor in the hall. You must ensure that your brand is seen as the primary business in its sector and visitors choose to spend their valuable time talking to you, not your competitor. You might have the best product or service in the exhibition hall. But if you don’t get a chance to talk about it, your investment will be largely wasted.

Here are seven ways to improve your exhibiting experience and create a favourable impression time and time again.

1. Make a terrific impression

At trade-shows, creating a good first impression is crucial. From stand design and structure to engaging staff and interactive displays, every detail has a role in alluring potential customers. When a person sees your exhibit for the first time, they’re asking themselves a lot of questions. Are you someone to approach or avoid? What can you offer to make their life easier? Do you have status or authority? Are you genuine, trustworthy, confident? The visitor will decide whether to approach you in the first couple of second of seeing your exhibition stand.

A good display design is extremely important. Find a supplier that will demonstrate the vital connection with visitors and represents your company in the best light possible. Always try to do something different than the average trade show exhibitor.

Consider a unique bespoke exhibition stand. This will allow you to display confidence and deliver the objectives set out by your company. Hold interactive product demonstrations and activities. Think about intriguing content, colour scheme and an overall theme of your stand. You and your supplier have to ensure your stand takes the centre stage and has the ‘wow’ factor that competitors don’t.

2. Show attendees how you can help them

Most attendees probably don’t know who you are and what you have to offer. This is why it’s important to take the time to plan you exhibition stand graphics.They should illustrate what you business is about and communicate your unique selling points and marketing messages. Your stand is your shop window for the day – make it informative, inspiring and relevant.

You probably have a good idea of what works best for your company, but you can also learn a lot from your exhibition stand designers. They have years of experience in this field and know what makes a company stand out at an exhibition. A good stand supplier will work closely with you to create a cost effective way to communicate your messages. They can help you choose your exhibition stand, provide advice on layout and lighting and create your whole trade show appearance.

Let everyone know that you put a lot of effort into your stand – if your display looks like you threw it all together at the last minute, it might give visitors a wrong impression of your company and customer service.

3. Prepare your staff

Don’t forget to plan ahead and prepare your team. They should be approachable, friendly and energetic. Before the show, ensure your staff prepare a unique elevator pitch. Practice answering possible questions and remember that attendees should not be approached aggressively.

To get visitors’ attention, ask open ended questions like: What are you hoping to get out of the show? Do you use our type of products? Find out what they actually need. This way you can highlight specific product benefits and explain how it can be a perfect solution for their problems. Engaging with visitors and finding well qualified prospects will help you build good relationships with and turn into sales.

4. Highlight you products

Trade shows offer an ideal opportunity to present new products or services. So if you’re launching a new product at an exhibition, or simply want to highlight your best seller or your newest invention, make it noticeable.

Use custom product displays and lighting to bring attention to it. Attendees will want to see, touch and test the product before they buy, so make sure you have more than one copy in case your stand gets busy. People love to be the first to know of the latest innovations and services and they want to be the first to own the newest gadgets. This is why product launches build excitement and give visitors an extra reason to stop by your stand.

Use social media or issue a press release to boost awareness of your product launch. A fun and interactive demo of one of your products will also get people talking and set you apart from competitors.

When planning your exhibition stand, make sure you have a demo area in mind. Give it enough space, good lighting and consider any additional components you might need like display tables or counters. Remember to include beautiful images as part of your exhibition display. They should show an end result of your product or service to create an emotional and positive reaction. You can also provide interactive tablets pre-loaded with your portfolio or product slideshows, they provide a convenient way for visitors to explore your brand.

5. Create unforgettable experiences

If you want to attract massive crowds and form lasting business relationships, your exhibition stand not only needs to clearly express your brand, but also engage and stimulate memorable experiences. The rise of the digital age has given us an opportunity to equip exhibition stands with a wide range of technological gadgets and widgets that will bring your brand to life with minimal effort on the day of the show.

Games give the visitor an opportunity to really interact with your brand, build a connection and even form an emotional attachment with your brand. They introduce a competitive element, which will help you draw in more visitors and hold their attention for far longer than a simple brochure.

If you want to connect on a more immersive level with your target audience, Augmented Reality is a great way to achieve this. AR lets you hide content behind marker images that can be included in your exhibition stand graphics. It’s a totally fresh and unique way for visitors to interact with your brand. One of the latest virtual reality gadgets is Oculus Rift.

Still new and unfamiliar to most people, it attracts the attention of visitors and creates a great talking point. The Rift is a cutting-edge virtual reality headset that allows users to completely immerse themselves in the virtual, three-dimensional world. It’s offers a great way to explain complicated systems or bring large-scale products to life.

Powerful brand experiences and memorable activities will ensure that people from all over the exhibition will pay you a visit and improve your ROI.

6. Make an action plan

Plan how you’re going to follow up after the show. You can use digital scanners provided by the show organiser, create your own lead collection system or use an iPad to manually input the details. The quicker and easier the process is, the better it will be for both your staff and your visitor. Make sure that your lead collection system allows you to add extra comments to each visitor. This additional information is very valuable.

Things like ‘interested in X and Y product’ or ‘wants pricing’ or ‘urgent lead, follow up with a call immediately’ can really help your sales team. They will know what you promised to do and will be able to execute a detailed and effective follow up. It will also make a good impression on your sales prospects, they will appreciate the fact you remember their needs and won’t have to answer the same questions again.

7. Leads

Analyse and qualify your leads. Determine which leads are hot and need an immediate follow up and which can be contacted within a day or two. It’s good to set up a standard follow up email thanking all attendees for visiting your stand.

To guarantee a successful exhibition, make sure none of your leads are neglected and are all followed up soon after the show. Let’s face it, some leads may be time-wasters, but you can never be sure. They may need your products or services in the future or know someone that does, it’s important that you engage with every lead.

Careful planning, outstanding design and immediate follow up are key to a successful exhibition. If you need assistance with setting up an effective exhibition stand that will ‘wow’ all your visitors, Skyline Whitespace offers an excellent range of creative custom and modular exhibition stands. We’re here to assist you every step of the way, simply get in touch with our team today!